Like millions of people you probably start your morning routine with a sumptuous, steaming and smooth cup of java. It charges your morning and wakes you from your half slumber. While you can just walk a couple of blocks and buy one from a coffee place, some people still prefer homemade coffee they made for themselves. If you are one of those people, you probably brew it by whichever method you prefer, Chemex,Keurig, French press, cold brewing or the standard drip method using expensive equipment that requires a fair bit of finesse to brew your cup just right.
Be sure to check out our Guide to Aeropress Coffee Makers
What if there was a coffee maker that was easy to master and demanded little to no training to make arguably the best coffee in the world, and which was inexpensive, lightweight and portable too. This may sound like a sales pitch but the AeroPress brewer promises and delivers exactly that.
There are millions of AerosPress enthusiasts worldwide who swear by it and claim it makes a more delectable cup than machines which cost thousands of dollars and put a dent in your wallet. if you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford an espresso machine, it lets you produce an espresso style concentrate which can then be used in lattes, cappuccinos or other espresso-based beverages. Said in so many words, this machine can be used to substitute an espresso machine at your home because it brews a unique and just as delightful cup on the cheap without sacrificing on the quality.
Maybe you’d like to take your coffee maker with you when you’re travelling but it might be too bulky and cumbersome to lug around. Consider aerospace, which is not only lightweight but also compact which lends it portability. It runs without electricity so use it when you’re away from home and don’t have access to electricity. While camping for example. Even if you wouldn’t use it for brewing at home, you’d probably like it because it no other brand comes to close to the portability it offers.
Like the French brew it uses the immersion brewing method but the end result is much purer and neater than the French press, the reason being it uses paper filters. While you can find some of these features in a French press too, it’s lacking when it comes to durability. And durability is where the AeroPress excels. To account for all the recipes possible with this machine is beyond the scope of this article because there are countless brewing methods this coffee maker can create. However, we will briefly touch on the standard method of brewing using this brewer.
The history of AeroPress
But first a bit of history, AeroPress is the brainchild of Alan Adler, considered a perfectionist by many, this inventor is obsessed with perfecting everyday products that he deems flawed or deficient.
Beginning his inventing career as early as the age of 13, this American inventor has quite a few patents under his belt.
His obsession with aerodynamics, led him to creating his own variant of a frisbee called the Aerobie. The Aerobie – which by the way, was the same flying disc used to set two world records – enjoyed a fair amount of success not to mention popularity which it retains to this day.
When this self-proclaimed coffee aficionado became frustrated with his French press because it couldn’t make him the perfect single cup coffee – it was too watery for his taste, he set out to finding a better solution. True as it as, that he could have just bought a coffee dipper instead, he would have had to trade off on the quality of his coffee, who was seeking the perfect cup of coffee. Once he began working on and perfecting his very own prototype, the AeroPress was born, like a lot of other great inventions in a garage.
When this innovation was launched in 2005, it was passed off as a gizmo that would soon fade into obscurity. Even if it didn’t look like one of the best and most beloved coffee brewing machines of our time then, it certainly proved that in the coming years. In 2017, the company sold its sporting goods business to focus more on growing the AeroPress, they renamed the company to AeroPress Inc.
Its popularity and sales skyrocketed over a very few short years as it became probably one of the most beloved coffee making machines. And all this success isn’t unearned either. Many consumers – home brewers and baristas alike — who use it on a regular basis claim it brews the perfect cup of java.
An overview of their product
The possibilities of recipes that can be brewed with this device are virtually limitless, evident by the national AeroPress competitions that have been held for a little over a decade where the coffee lovers have brought a gamut of techniques and recipes to the table.
A tried and tested technique works by adding ground and water to the chamber and pressing the plunger down after stirring it, which drains the coffee into your cup after passing it through a filter. This whole process takes under two minutes which means you can get a decent cup of coffee almost instantly.
This versatility doesn’t sacrifice convenience because this brewer is straight-forward to master and you can use it to brew a near perfect cup in no time. You can either use a tried and tested technique at home, office and of course outdoors – more on that in a minute. Or if you’re feeling adventurous you can play around with the variables like ground size, time for stirring pressing and brewing. In lieu of the traditional brewing method, you can also use the inverted brewing method which produces a coarser grind.
Aside from the convenience and versatility, it’s fairly inexpensive too, all that while brewing a cup just as strong as an espresso (because it employs an espresso style method) but which tastes less bitter, is much smoother in texture, and even more so in richness and taste.
Now for a more in-depth review of AeroPress’s only product:
AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
When you unbox your AeroPress, you’ll find, a plunger, chamber, seal, filter cap, funnel, filter holder, 350 filters, scoop and stirrer. Out of these components four are at the heart of this device, that is, the plunger, chamber, filter cap and seal.
When this brewer is in operation, it resembles an oversized syringe, at least in appearance. As the plunger connects to the seal, and a paper filter is placed in the cap and after that the chamber goes onto your cup.
To start off, you add a scooping of grounds, followed by hot water at the appropriate temperature, and after steeping it, you lift the plunger and then push it downwards until you hear a sound. Excluding the time for grinding the beans and boiling the water, this whole process takes no longer than two minutes. And there you have it, a near perfect flavorful cup of coffee. Since it uses full immersion and rapid filtration which produces coffee with a higher pH, which means it is less acidic and far less bitter than the coffee produced from other methods.
Not only does it make espresso style coffee to be utilized in lattes or cappuccinos but it can also be used to brew an Americano just as easily.
It distinguishes itself from other brewers because of some unique features it brings to the table. Unlike the drip coffee machines which partially immerse the coffee grounds in hot water, or Pourover techniques which require you to time the pouring perfectly, the AeroPress uses full immersion which extracts more flavor and allows for a richer, more flavorful blend.
Owing to the smaller surface area of French press, you have to steep the coffee for longer if you want a proper extraction, which makes for a very acidic and bitter cup. The AeroPress, however, uses a finer ground, quicker extraction and has a large surface area, which make the end result much more flavorful and without the bitterness.
After you finish up and get to the cleaning the brewer part, you’ll find it surprisingly easy to clean also. You just have to take out the filter cap, give the plunger a gentle push and empty the contents into the bin. After that you’ll just wash it and let it dry. However, should you wish to clean it in a dishwasher, it’s dishwasher safe as well.
Unlike the glass or ceramic brewers, the AeroPress is made of plastic durable enough to make this product near unbreakable, as long as it’s not used improperly of course. This feature, coupled with its lightweight and compact design, means it can be used anywhere, making it ideal for travelling and camping and it’ll last you quite some time. You can also get some accessories like a tote bag and 350 additional paper filters.
As great as this coffee maker is, sadly it is not flawless. It brews a cup fairly quickly but there are machines which do it even faster, a Nespresso machine for instance. And although the coffee the AeroPress brews is flavorful and rich, a cup brewed with asn espresso machine would be even more so. Besides, this brewer won’t be you go to product, if you have guests over and have to brew more than 3 cups. If that’s the case a French press or a drip coffee machine will serve you better.
While you have to make some trade-offs when you’re opting for this brewer instead of others I’ve mentioned, you will probably be satisfied with this purchase or maybe even come to love it because of how simple it is to master this brewer and get a great-tasting cup out of it, compared to others in the market.